How to Buy a House in San Diego
Trying to find a home in San Diego might feel overwhelming. After all, San Diego County is larger than the state of Rhode Island! But finding a house in San Diego is not as big a job as it seems. I hear stories about people back east who spent months trying to find a house, because every one was so different! But it just doesn’t take that long here, because a lot of the homes in San Diego are very similar.
The first step is to choose a location like Carlsbad, La Jolla, La Costa or Del Mar, and then finding a home is usually just a matter of a day or two. This may sound incredible, but I’ve done it a couple hundred times now, and I assure you, it just isn’t that hard to find a home in San Diego once you’ve narrowed it down.
But first, there’s something you need to understand about buying real estate in San Diego.
Tips for Buying a Home
Consider the three boxes above. All of your housing requirements fall into one of these three boxes.
PRICE questions include:
How much down payment do I need?
What are the closing costs?
What is the asking price of the house?
What are the homeowner fees?
Is there a Mello-Roos tax?
What would my monthly payment be?
Here are some typical LOCATION questions:
Is this a good neighborhood in San Diego?
How long of a commute is it to my work?
How are the schools in San Diego?
What is the climate (inland vs. coastal)?
How much land (city vs. rural)?
Then there are requirements about the HOUSE itself:
How many bedrooms and baths does it have?
How many square feet?
Is it one or two story?
Does it have the amenities I want (air conditioning, pool, etc.)?
When was the house built?
OK, now here’s the point you have to get firmly in your mind:
You can have any two boxes you want, but you can’t have all three.
Sometimes when I hear what people want and for what price, I have to tell them it’s impossible! Something has to give, either the house or the location or the price.
You see, if money’s no object, you can have whatever house you want, wherever you want it.
But if you have a price limit, then you can say “This is the kind of house I want, and this price, now tell me where I can get it.”
Or, you can say “I want to live in this area because of (fill in the blank), now find me the best house you can for my price.”
When you can say one of those two statements, then you’re ready to go house hunting.
Once you decide whether the house or the location is most important, the search becomes very manageable. With our computers we can select the properties that match what you’re looking for, and most likely see them all in one day.
If you’d like to do some searching on your own, see the Quick Overview of San Diego Real Estate Prices to get an idea for which communities to focus on (or rule out). Then check out the different San Diego County community pages to see if the area fits what you had in mind. Next, Homes For Sale in San Diego will connect you to our San Diego County Multiple Listing System. This is a list of every house for sale by every broker, updated daily. Finally, since I have the keys, call or text me at 760-889-2272 to go see some of the beautiful real estate in San Diego!